Subscribe to News
Close Search
 
MEDIA, JOBS & RESOURCES for the COMMON GOOD
News  |  PolicyWelfare

ACOSS and Greens call for $95 Newstart rise


31 January 2020 at 4:44 pm
Luke Michael
Anti-poverty advocates previously called for a $75 a week Newstart increase


Luke Michael | 31 January 2020 at 4:44 pm


1 Comments


 Print
ACOSS and Greens call for $95 Newstart rise
31 January 2020 at 4:44 pm

Anti-poverty advocates previously called for a $75 a week Newstart increase

The Australian Council of Social Service has updated its demand to raise Newstart because of the rising cost of living pressures, with the group now calling for a $95 a week raise to the payment.

This revised figure was calculated using a wage index based on new research from UNSW’s Social Policy Research Centre (SPRC), which ACOSS also used to calculate its previous demand for a $75 a week payment rise. 

This call has already been embraced by The Greens, who say the federal government’s continued failure to act has meant those on Newstart are falling even further behind.

ACOSS CEO Dr Cassandra Goldie said the decision was made in light of steep increases in the cost of housing and other essentials.

“Raising the rate by $95 per week will get Newstart working by allowing people to cover the basics, instead of being forced to skip meals, sleep rough and miss medication, which makes finding paid work even harder,” Goldie said. 

“The benefits of increasing Newstart would be felt in the economy immediately, particularly in regional and rural areas, including those affected by fires.”

The campaign to raise Newstart has a long and complex history, but public pressure to raise the unemployment benefit payment has increased in recent months.

Last July, the Senate launched an inquiry into the rate of Newstart – which is currently around $40 a day.

The inquiry, due to report in March, has heard stories of Newstart recipients losing their homes, skipping meals, self-harming, and being forced to ration their insulin.

Greens Senator Rachel Siewert has been a long-time advocate for raising Newstart, having introduced several bills to raise the rate by $75 a week.

She confirmed that The Greens had also shifted their position to support a $95 a week Newstart raise.

“The government’s continued failure to act has meant that those trying to survive on Newstart are falling even further behind, prompting ACOSS to call for a higher increase in Newstart. This is desperately needed,” Siewert told Pro Bono News.

“The Greens support ACOSS’s calls for an increase to Newstart beyond $75 and think the $95 recommended by ACOSS is more realistic.”

Newstart has not increased in real terms since 1994.

Dr Bruce Bradbury from the SPRC said this needed to change.

“Over the past two decades, Newstart has steadily fallen relative to both other income support payments and wages,” Bradbury said.

“Currently, single adult Newstart recipients receive only $284 per week, which is only 61 per cent of the amount received by single pensioners and 38 per cent of the minimum wage.”


Luke Michael  |  Journalist  |  @luke_michael96

Luke Michael is a journalist at Pro Bono News covering the social sector.

PB Careers
Get your biweekly dose of news, opinion and analysis to keep you up to date with what’s happening and why it matters for you, sent every Tuesday and Thursday morning.

Got a story to share?

Got a news tip or article idea for Pro Bono News? Or perhaps you would like to write an article and join a growing community of sector leaders sharing their thoughts and analysis with Pro Bono News readers? Get in touch at news@probonoaustralia.com.au or download our contributor guidelines.

Get more stories like this

FREE SOCIAL
SECTOR NEWS

One comment

  • prefer not to disclose says:

    this can’t come soon enough. I am one of those with disability forced onto NEWSTART. my long term injuries (i.e. ~30 years) are not yet fully diagnosed, and my Dementia is reversible according to Centrelink’s assessor. Consequently, I am living on $2/week after rent and utilities, and need to rely on family or charity for food.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



YOU MAY ALSO LIKE

Charity sector calls for JobSeeker to be raised permanently

Luke Michael

Tuesday, 14th July 2020 at 8:00 am

Faith without work(ers) is dead

John Falzon

Saturday, 4th July 2020 at 9:00 am

Fears Australia faces a Work for the Dole 'time bomb'

Luke Michael

Tuesday, 23rd June 2020 at 5:05 pm

Drawing lines, somewhere

David Crosbie

Thursday, 28th May 2020 at 8:39 am

Subscribe to News
pba inverse logo
Subscribe Twitter Facebook
×

We need your help.

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, Pro Bono Australia has seen a devastating fall in advertising and less people posting on our job board, which is how we fund our free news service. You can show us that you value the work we do by making a contribution.

 Make a contribution 

You have Successfully Subscribed!